The Poetry In What We See

Three poems
by Brandon Greer

There is something about Sundays
that doesn’t sit right with me
doesn’t feel right
doesn’t float around inside
my skull as easy as the
other days seem to.

It’s in the way the dog
licks his tail and the heavy
look in his eyes
at the food bowl near
the back door.

It’s in the way children
spend every second wisely
playing as many games as they
can because they know that
the school bell is only
hours away.

It’s in the way men and women
hurry through yard work and
laundry so they can have
a few hours of television
before having to sleep
because punching the clock
at a nine-to-five
is just as close as
the school bells
of their children.

It’s in the way the drunk
finishes his last beer
too drunk to drive
and the nearest town that
sells alcohol on such a holy day
is thirty miles away.

It’s in the way the whores
wake up with matted hair
and pick the crust of Saturday
night from the corners of their
eyes while searching for a pair
of panties in the dirty clothes basket.

It’s in the way that Christ
hangs on the cross in
countless churches
wood and plaster face
and body
and crown of thorns
always hanging there
being forgotten as the
sun lowers and fills
the altars with darkness
and mouse-like quietness.

It’s in the way that
I have written these words
sad and slow
and knowing that
there is
some truth


We Beat These Keys

We beat these keys because it
is the only way we know how to
beat anything at all.

We’re not the soldiers on the
battlefield with rifles and grenades—
pens and notebooks and typewriters
are our rifles, and a strong thought
or moment of clarity carries our charge
like land mines.

We can’t always save the bum on the
street who used to be a well-respected
pillar of the community,
but we can take note of the spark in
his eyes and the stubble on his chin
and the stories he has of the past,
and some day write it all down in
hopes that the best parts of him will
never be forgotten.

We beat these keys because our
words, when written, are louder
than our


I Have Seen

I have seen
trembling hands
reaching for a drink,
powder formed into
white lines on coffee tables,
belts tightened around
biceps to produce
an accessible vein.

I have seen
hands clenched
into hammers that pound
against walls and
mirrors and faces
until the flesh was
gnarled away from
the knuckles.

I have seen
roaches crawling
along the rails of
baby cribs,
toddlers loose on
the sidewalk in diapers,
while parents are too
busy screaming and breaking
bottles to care about
anything else.

I have seen
prom queens
and star quarterbacks
fall into nothingness,
clutching pipes soiled
with crystal meth until
they landed upon the rocks.

I have seen
me write
about all of this before,
each time hoping
that things get better
for them
for me
for us.


Brandon Greer has lived in southern Illinois all of his life. Some of his work has been published in TPG Magazine, and his poem “Wondering About Death” will appear in the 2016 issue of The Broad River Review.


Published by


I am a dreamer, as well as a doer, who lives in the North Georgia mountains. I started my publishing journey August of 2013, have had moderate success, but my utmost passion is my "daytime" job, which is working with adults who are constantly striving to better their lives as they obtain the GED credential.

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